Cold brew coffee – iced tea’s cooler cousin.
ASE wrote about the trending cold brew coffee craze late last summer. Bon Appetit referred to the cold brew method of brewing iced coffee as cultish. Now that it has become so mainstream, I’m not sure cultish is still an appropriate description. Cold brew is the brewing method where coffee grounds are steeped in cold water and never touch heat. Many people think it’s the only way to drink iced coffee. It produces a higher caffeinated drink than regular coffee. It actually has been around since 1995 when a coffee shop in Chicago first put it on the menu. Since 2010 there has been a 339% increase in cold brew sales.
With the explosion in its popularity there are many more contenders on the market. 116 million gallons of individual ready to drink cold brew drinks were consumed in the U.S. in 2015! Since Starbucks added cold brew to its menu last summer its iced coffee sales increased by 20%. Here are the leaders of the pack currently cornering the cold brew market for ‘grab n’ go’ servings. None of these are concentrate, they are all ready to drink. Most of these can be found in supermarkets, including Whole Foods.
Stumptown, Cold Brew (Original) is from Oregon and is wildly popular there. It is making a name for itself across the country and has an extensive line of cold brew variations including ready to drink, concentrates, and retail coffee shop servings. All their cold brew options are steeped for 12 hours in room temperature water then double filtered for a smooth, chocolate-like drink. Their ready to drink version is quite strong and will definitely keep you active for the rest of the day. It has no milk or sugar added. You might prefer to dilute it a little, or add ice. 12 oz. for $4.00. There are 3 calories per can.
Stumptown also sells a Stumptown, Cold Brew with Milk which combines Sunshine Dairy half and half and sugar with its original cold brew. This version was released in 2013 and has a smooth, delicious flavor. $4.00 for 16 oz.
Stumptown’s Nitro is cold brew in a can, very cutting edge, just released a few months ago. For many it is the favorite of all the Stumptown offerings. It has a smooth, rich, chocolate flavor and has no dairy or sugar added. $5.00 for 11 oz.
Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Island Latte is creamy and delicious. $2.50 for 8 oz. There are 100 calories.
Slingshot sells a ready to drink 3-pack for $12.00. It is based in North Carolina. There is no dairy or sugar added.
Chameleon is sold in Whole Foods and its cold brews come as espresso-based, chicory or Mexican flavored. $4.00 for a 10 oz. bottle. There are 35 calories per bottle.
Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee is that delicious New Orleans chicory coffee. It has been cold brewed for 12 hours then has whole milk and sugar added. 11 oz. is $4.00.
Secret Squirrel’s ready to drink was voted the favorite in Vox’s entire office. The cold brew is brewed between 20 – 22 hours then double strained and bottled quickly so the coffee doesn’t oxidize. Their cold brew ready to drink comes in four flavors – Black, Caffe Latte, Dark Chocolate Mocha and Vietnamese Coffee. $4.00 for 12 oz.
Red Thread Good is a lighter ready to drink cold brew coffee. It doesn’t need diluting or dairy added. They soak their coarsely ground coffee for 12 – 17 hours in room temperature water. The result tastes slightly of cinnamon. For every bottle sold, they donate 2 cents to charity. $4.00 per bottle.
High Brew Double Espresso is balanced, lightly sweetened, with a bold flavor. $2.00 for 8 oz. There are 50 calories.